Merry Christmas! Bethlehem Visit & Live Nativity!

A Bethlehem Visit… Live Nativity… A Spiritual Experience! Thank you Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church! Merry Christmas Everybody!   (Facebook Post with 30 pics, Andy Reistetter, 12-9-17)

So inspired by Church this Morning…

1From Paul the Apostle to the Galatians (5:13-25) we have “the Works of the Flesh,” the list of 15 should not do in life—fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factious, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these. Also, a shorter list of 8 of “the Fruit of the Spirit”—joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control with the differing comment that there is no law against such things. Or I would add that the first list that there is no human law in our world of free will to not choose what we will choose at any point in our life.

In the Gospel of Luke (9:51-62) Jesus, setting face towards Jerusalem (and the Crucifixion), simply asks us in His own way to “follow Me.”

In the beginning and end of the priest’s sermon our prayer for courage and strength to love and follow Jesus with gladness and single-mindedness of our hearts. If He is the primary pursuit of our faith journey then everything else comes second and works out just fine. I have experienced this at times in my life especially early on growing up impacted by the disease of alcoholism and later in life and more recently in recovery from the disease of compulsive overeating and sugar addiction. “I can’t fix that” transforms to “with God and Jesus I can,” were the words of the priest. Is a faith journey a primary purpose in your life? If so, what is the true primary purpose of that faith journey? These questions, at times, are difficult for me to answer.

2“Finding the right balance” in life is why I seek a spiritual journey in life. It is difficult in the world we live in. Yes it is but we need to question our denial, our rationalizations and our justifications in our life. What is the truth of our human being, what is the true purpose of our life?

The priest referenced the 2015 Charleston Church Shooting where nine beautiful souls were lost. How the remaining victims and their family and loved ones were now more focused on the grace and love of Christ and not being sucked into hate from the traumatic experience. On their “Journey of Awakening” they are learning how to pray for the shooter that he experience God’s mercy and forgiveness to live a different life and to be able to tell a different story with the rest of his life.

The Children’s Talk where the kids go up on the altar and here a more childish version of the gospel had a special message for me this morning. Actually I usually connect closely with the message to the children, maybe it is the Eternal Child Within? The kids’ translation was simply put as a prayer when confronted with something we don’t like in life.

“God, can you help me to see this (experience in my life) in the way You see it?”

3It connect the dots once more for me in my pursuit of a “Splendid Spiritual Self” and the “?4 Ask God 4?” translation from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous where I ask God four things in times of crisis (anxiety, indecision, contemplating a slip in abstinence)— to free me of my self & selfishness; to direct my thinking, to inspire my decisions and to show me the next step to take in the moment.



How can we think, how can we be more like God in our lives?

After the mass (or service), there is more interpretation and a question and answer session with the rector. There are usually ten or so questions asked and I love this part of my morning spiritual experience because I learn so much more about the Word of God and realize we are all imperfect and struggling a bit at times to get through this experience we call life. More dots are connected in my mind and more importantly in my “Splendid Spiritual Self.”

4We are spiritual beings first that the world has duped us into not believing this. Some spend their whole lives denying this but in the end it can be suppressed but not denied. Hopefully and eventually we all come to this realization in life.

I formulated a question as the discussion went on and was surprised at the end that there was silence when the audience was asked for another question. I took this as a Godsend and asked my question. Making reference to the two lists above, I commented that we all come to a place of acceptance and realization  the we are not God in our lives or the lives of others and as human beings we die. It seemed to me that our experience will follow Jesus’ experience in that we all ultimately die. I didn’t say it but that is indeed true, that we all share one thing in common without except— we die! But nobody talks about it to any great degree or minimally likes to talk about it.  So you would say, as others did, hey where is the question in that?

5Here’s the question I asked of the rector: When you look at “the rest of your life,” what comes to mind, what will Jesus say to you in your 60s, 70s, and 80s that is different than what He is saying to you today? Always a TROML question from me!

I loved and was inspired by his response, first making reference to the first list as things we do when Jesus is not first in our lives and that the reality is that the second list spills out into our life from a God-centered life. As to my 60s, 70s, and 80s question he does not think that way, mainly because he isn’t there yet age wise. As he continues his journey, he will grow more in God’s grace and love and shared that he wants to always be a person that believes in wonders, that he is intrigued by people who have lost their sense of wonder. Why have they lost their sense of wonder of life?

Have you lost your sense of wonder?

6For me, as inspired as the morning was, the real inspiration came when an older gentleman in his 80s came up to me afterwards and tapped me on the arm. He looked up and looked me in the eyes and said that in his 60s he was focused on transitioning into retirement. In his 70s he began walking closer with God. As he told me about his 80s he turned and motioned to his wife saying that he continues to walk closer taking big steps and that it is overwhelming how much he loves his wife today.

I connected with his spiritual insight as though I am single today when I pray and ask, and meditate and listen, I hear God sharing that I will be married by the time I am 60 which is only a few years off. Which reminded me of my neighbor the other day sharing what his wife wanted him to share with me. Reminding me that I said that I will be married in 1-1/2 years. Evidently six months ago I said I would be married in two years. But I don’t remember that as I always thought I heard 3 to 4 years which would be 60 for me!

7LOL, when and to whom will God direct me to? I do know one thing that will be required. That she and I put our relationship with God first and foremost above all else and that No. 2 on the list will be our marriage and each other.

I left to go back out in the world I heard the message from today. Courage and strength for gladness and single-mindedness of God’s love, grace and mercy. I hope to live the rest of this day in an abstinent manner in peace, joy and freedom.

Plus I will ask God to help me to see my tragedies and successes in life in the moment in the way he sees them and act accordingly.

For I am my True Self, with God within me with my Trusting Ego, an Eternal Child Within…

Have a TROML Day today!

Your Personal Revivalist,

Anonymous Andy




‘All From One,’ Unity Amid Diversity Exhibit in South Africa…

_640 COVER PAST All From ONE

How can we go forward together if we don’t look at our past? Photo Credit: Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST)

On Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, Day 42 of the Golf & Life Journey to South Africa, after playing the East Golf Course of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, I ventured up to Pretoria to do some sightseeing.  What I saw was the PAST ‘All From One’ exhibit outside the Standard Bank offices in Rosebank.

You know how you know that a single brief interaction of a chance meeting with someone can change your life? Well this was one of those experiences with the ‘All From One’ exhibit and exhibit guide Gary Trower. It was brief but the seed was planted and of course the pictures taken for documentation purposes and future digestion of all the impacts.

With archaeologist Gary Trower at the 'All From One' exhibit in Pretoria, South Africa.

With archaeologist Gary Trower at the ‘All From One’ exhibit in Pretoria, South Africa.

While I am not a scientist in this regard, truth be known, we all do come from the same ancestors and are 99.9% alike yet why does the world focus on our differences?

‘All From One’ is the scientific base for our spiritual unity…

Here is more from the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) website and below the words are in the pictures to follow along in the exhibit just like I did during my visit to South Africa. Images courtesy of John Gurche.


I hope that you can commit to tolerance, unity, collaboration and conservation as I did that fateful day in South Africa.  We are all ‘spiritual beings living a human life,’ and ‘we are a part of nature, not apart from nature!’ TROML Baby!



The science of our origins reveals the shared African roots of all people. PAST uses Africa’s ancient fossil heritage to build African dignity, promote social cohesion and environmental conservation, inspire scientific curiosity among school-going youth, and establish African leadership in the sciences related to our origins.

‘Unity Amid Diversity.’ Cultural and physical differences ensure the uniqueness of every individual. Yet underlying this diversity is a deeply woven humanity common to all people.

Our Place in Nature. Africa’s fossil heritage shows that the environment played a major role in the evolution of life and humankind. If the pace and extent of environmental change is too rapid or large for species to adapt, some will go extinct.

'Unity Amid Diversity.' Photo Credit: John Gurche

‘Unity Amid Diversity.’ Photo Credit: John Gurche

Welcome to the website version of the PAST ‘All From One’ exhibition. The physical version of the exhibition opened on 10 November 2015 and is touring South Africa. It has thus far stood outside the Standard Bank offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg, the Soweto Theatre in Soweto, the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town, and Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg.

The exhibition is a striking structure recalling both a DNA double helix and the skeletons of two large prehistoric animals. A smaller, reconfigured version of the exhibition was produced as part of the South African Treasures exhibition at the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly in Geneva in October 2016.

_Humans part not apartThis website version of the exhibition contains similar information and some of the images from the two physical versions, plus additional information in “Dig Deeper” pages.

The ‘All From One’ exhibition draws on scientific evidence about our shared human origins and the shared origins of all life forms in order to challenge commonly held ideas about humankind and our place in nature.

You will see that you are unique, but that you share strong bonds of similarity with all other people, based on a deeply rooted common humanity. As a species, you will see we are but one twig among millions on the tree of life that sustains us all.

All told, you will see that shared origins is a potent force for tolerance, unity, collaboration and conservation.


Happy Christian Easter, Pasch & Resurrection Sunday on March 27th, 2016!

Happy Christian Easter, Pasch & Resurrection Sunday on March 27th, 2016!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

1 Happy-Easter-GreetingsEaster,[nb 1] also called Pasch[nb 2] or Resurrection Sunday,[nb 3] is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.[5][6] It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The week before Easter is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper,[7][8] as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.[9] In western Christianity, Eastertide, the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Orthodoxy, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.

2 Easter-BlessingsThe New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith.[29] The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God[30] and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.[31][32] For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, “death is swallowed up in victory.”[33] Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.[34] Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation.[32][35][36]

3 Happy-Easter-GreetingsIn Western Christianity, using the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between 22 March and 25 April inclusive, within about seven days after the astronomical full moon.[49]

Easter is the fundamental and most important festival of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches:

This is the Expected and Holy Day,the One among the Sabbaths,the Sovereign and Lady of days,Feast of feasts, Celebration of celebrations,on which we praise Christ for all eternity!

4 Happy-Easter-GreetingsAnonymous Andy here…

This sounds and feels like a beautiful thing to “walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation”…

I am interested to learn more about Easter and how this Christian holiday inspires people of the Christian faith…

Would you like to write about your personal Christian faith and how it has positively and inspirationally impacted your life?